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Addiction recovery groups rally near drug distribution company

April Franklin

A group of grieving individuals stood in the rain Friday evening in Chili near Rochester Drug Cooperative, in support of loved ones they’ve lost from opioid overdoses.

The tearful gathering was called the Greed to Grief Rally.  Coordinated by grass roots organization Gates to Recovery, the rally was held in response to the recent federal charges against the pharmaceutical distributor, RDC, and two of its former executives.  Authorities allege the company was ignoring indications its opioids were not being used legally.

Kelly Murray’s Daughter, Shannon, died of an overdose in 2017. She said that people are starting to listen but there is still a stigma associated with addiction.

“People don’t talk about it. If this company had distributed a drug that was killing 190 people a day (because of) cancer, there’d be 10,000 people out here.”

Credit April Franklin / WXXI News

Murray said the recent indictments have validated what she’s known all along, and feels that someone has to speak for the victims.

Dean Lucas lost his son to opioid addiction.  He says negative stigma associated with drug abuse prevents people from openly talking about it.

“When I told people my son died of an overdose, people came out of the woodwork to say, 'oh, my niece is a heroin addict,' oh, my sister, my nephew, my aunt, my brother…' Then, people came out of the woodwork, why?  Stigma,” Lucas said.

Rochester Drug Cooperative issue this statement on Friday:

"We support the right of groups and individuals to express their opinions.  We know Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC) has a role to play within the prescription drug supply chain.  And, we take that responsibility seriously.

We readily admit that RDC’s previous management made mistakes.  We have accepted responsibility for those mistakes.  We encourage everyone to read our statement, the statement of facts and the compliance agreement we are implementing.  You can find them here:

We are under new management and are putting into place a world-class compliance program.  We would welcome the opportunity to have a thoughtful dialogue about the role we play within the prescription drug supply chain."